The Erotic Mind-Control Story Archive

The Mysteries of Armand Dupuis #39


by Miss Briar Gasdsen


Of all of our adventures together, this is the most difficult for me, your humble authoress, to recount for you. It was not simply how close M. Dupuis came to meeting his Maker. As you know, he and I had faced mortal danger in so many of our cases. This one was quite different as it shook the foundation of our stalwart friendship and our alliance in the cause of justice. I have long forgiven him for what happened to me and his role in my pain. And, I am sure that if my dear M. Dupuis were still with us, he would tell you my shame is undeserved, that I was not truly responsible. Still, even now, I am loathe to write this tale with all its embarrassing detail. But I promised long ago I would be unfailingly candid in recounting to the World our remarkable partnership.

So, With reluctance, I present to you the time M. Dupuis faced his deadliest foe:

His partner and true friend, Briar Gasdsen.

* * *

The Great Detective looked upon the jewel in its glass case and whispered to himself: “It truly is magnificent.” The size of a golf ball, it’s many facets seemed to give off a green glow. As Armand stepped closer to the case, he noted the semi hidden wiring. He struck a slim, handsome figure in his tuxedo, though Briar would never tell him that. Instead, she was aggravated that their evening plans had been interrupted. The museum visit was a favor for the famed Pinkerton National Agency, which was apparently a higher priority to him than dinner with her at Delmonico’s.

The heavyset man behind Armand mistakenly thought the words were meant for him.

“Yes....errrrr....priceless. But, I must say......there was no need for my superiors to bother you and your lovely companion. I have the security here well in hand. Every entrance, skylight, and window is wired with the latest electrical alarms. Even the glass case before you is so protected. Roving guards, others secreted in surveillance positions throughout the exterior property, all have all been personally trained by me.....I happily contend to you, Sir, that the Royal Jewels in London are not as stoutly guarded as the ‘The Star of Morgana’ here.”

Briar knew she had to intercede before Armand made one of his undiplomatic japes.

“Mr. Hankins, clearly you have the Pinkerton Agency’s utmost confidence. They simply want a local such as Mr. Dupuis to be an additional resource for use at your discretion. And contemplate the feather in your cap when a known consulting detective such as Mr. Dupuis tells Chicago what a thorough and....might I say.....ingenious job, you have done here. You have marshaled your forces like a true Bonaparte.”

Briar’s compliments, delivered with her great charm, had their intended effect. So had her golden hair and shapely figure. The Pinkerton man actually blushed.

“You are too kind, Miss Gasdsen.” He then noticed they were alone. “It would appear, however, I have bored Mr. Dupuis......You’ll be kind enough to excuse me. I must attend my preparations.” His bow was curt and it was obvious Armand’s rudeness had destroyed whatever good will she had engendered.

Briar sighed in annoyance, then looked about for her friend. She spotted him near a pillar. She joined him from behind and followed his gaze. Her annoyance intensified.

“This is a fine kettle, Dupuis. I wear my newest evening gown....spent hours on my face and hair, and my reward? First you delay Delmonico’s for boring business, then I find you gaping at some simple shopgirl. Perhaps you’d prefer her company.” Despite Briar’s unkind words, she had to admit the young brunette was pretty enough despite the plain dress and hat.

Armand kept looking at the girl. But he did respond.

“Really often have I advised you....if you wish to be a competent investigator, you must look beyond first appearances......don’t see her as a pretty girl....instead focus on her actions.”

Despite her annoyance, Briar followed his advice. It took a moment, then she realized what had piqued his interest. The girl was barely looking at the displayed art and treasures. Instead she seemed to be studying the museum, and the patrolling guards,

“Why she looks as if....”. Briar searched her memory for the appropriate criminal doggerel. “She appears to be casing the joint!”

Armand simply nodded, then gestured with his head towards the girl. Briar knew what to do. She approached the pretty suspect.

“Excuse me, My Dear...just where did you get that program...I’m simply lost without one.”

The girl slowly turned and stared vacantly at Briar. After a moment, life seemed to return to her large brown eyes. She appeared confused.

Briar broke the awkward silence. ”The program....where can I find one?”

“Oh....I’m sorry, Ma’am.....they were handing them out at the entrance....would you like mine?”

Briar was taken back by the girl’s apparent sweetness. It now seemed to her improbable that the ingenue could be involved in any malfeasance.

“Why I couldn’t do that...I know....let us share it. My name is Briar, by the way.” She took the girl’s smaller hand.

“It’d be my pleasure, Ma’am....I mean, Briar.....My name is Kathleen Murdoch......I don’t know very much about Art and such, I’m afraid. I find myself in awe of this palace, let alone the finery it holds.”

Briar took her by the arm. “Well.....I think it’s commendable that you are here broadening yourself.”

“Oh....Madame Dorvak insists......’Not true lady can forbear Culture and be called educated’ she’s always saying.” Briar detected a Midwest aspect in the girl’s voice.

“Well, Kathleen....if I may be so bold....please allow me to give you a tour.”

* * *

An hour later museum ushers announced closing time. Briar and Kathleen left and parted ways at the main portal. The blonde woman found Armand waiting by the cab line . A light rain began so she stood beneath his umbrella. He had retrieved his hat and their gloves from the cloakroom.

“Well, for once your famed intuition is off, I fear. She’s just a bright girl trying to better herself. Her name is Kathleen Murdoch of Ohio. She works as a typist for the Sanborn Fire Insurance Company. She’s here because of the Dorvak Institute.”

Dupuis raised a questioning eyebrow. “Dorvak Institute?”

Briar went on.

“It’s quite an admirable endeavor. Madame Dorvak and her husband the good Doctor opened doors a few months ago. They provide young women of all classes the most enlightened, progressive medical care. I have many friends who swear by them, their fees pay for girls like Kathleen.

“A medical clinic?

“It’s more than that. They provide ambitious ladies vocational advice, instruction to manners and deportment, physical fitness.....hygiene, and apparently, Art Appreciation. The girl was just here bettering herself.”

“So you think Miss Murdoch is as innocent as she looks?”

“She doesn’t have a malicious thought in her pretty head.”

Armand thought a while. He had to admit Briar was his superior when it came to social intercourse and character judgment.

“If we move with alacrity, we can still make our dinner reservation.” He helped her step into the horse cab.

A few hundred feet away, Kathleen sat in a black carriage pulling off her left stocking. It then joined her shoes and the other stocking on the floor. A man sat across from her in the dark holding a music box in his pudgy hands. It played a tinny rendition of Beethoven’s “Fur Elise”.

“Kathleen, are you with me?” He had a cultured, British accent.

“Yes Doctor. I am with you now, and I am your barefooted servant.” Her voice and expression were both vacant and submissive.

“Did you complete your study of the museum and the Pinkerton’s protective efforts?”

“Yes sir. I have obeyed.”

“Good. Upon our return, you will be given paper and pencil. You will diagram all you have noted. Now...who was the beauty you were conversing with as you exited?”

“Her name is Briar, sir.......we shared a program....”

“Marvelous, our sponsor will be quite pleased.”

The entranced girl just sat silent, and the carriage rattled into the night.